his article is about the web browser. For the operating system, see Google Chrome OS.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome 10 dev displaying Wikipedia on Windows 7.


Google Inc.

Initial release

September 2, 2008

Stable release

8.0.552.237 (January 12, 2011; 17 days ago) [+/−]

Preview release

9.0.597.83 (Beta) (January 25, 2011; 4 days ago) 10.0.648.6 (Dev) (January 26, 2011; 3 days ago)

Written in Operating system

C++, Assembly, JavaScript Linux Mac OS X (10.5 and later, Intel only) Windows (XP SP2 and later)

Engine Available in

WebKit (Based on KHTML) 50 languages

Development status Type License

Active Web browser Google Chrome Terms of Service;[note 1] WebKit: BSD/LGPL; V8: BSD.



Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google that uses the WebKit layout engine and application framework. It was first released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows on 2 September 2008, and the public stable release was on 11 December 2008. The name is derived from the graphical user interface frame, or "chrome", of web browsers. As of December 2010, Chrome was the third most widely used browser, with 15.52% of worldwide usage share of web browsers, according to Statcounter.[1] In September 2008, Google released a large portion of Chrome's source code, including its V8 JavaScript engine, as an open source project entitled Chromium.[2][3] This move enabled third-party developers to study the underlying source code and to help convert the browser to the Mac OS X and Linux operating systems. Google also expressed hope that other browsers would adopt V8 to improve web application performance.[4] The Google-authored portion of Chromium is released under the permissiveBSD license,
[5] [6]

which allows portions to be incorporated into both open source and closed source software programs. Other portions of the source code are subject to a variety of open source licenses.[7] Chromium

implements the same feature set as Chrome, but lacks built-in automatic updates and Google branding, and most noticeably has a blue-colored logo in place of the multicolored Google logo.[8]

• o o o o • o o

1 History 1.1 Announcement 1.2 Public release 1.3 Development 1.4 Release history 2 Features 2.1 Acid tests 2.2 Security

o o o o

2.3 Speed 2.4 Stability 2.5 User interface 2.6 Desktop shortcuts and

Web Store

2.6.1 Chrome

o o o o

2.7 Aero peek capability 2.8 Extensions 2.9 Themes 2.10 Automatic web page


2.11 Release channels and

o o

2.12 Usage tracking 2.13 About and Chrome

o • • • • •

2.14 About:flags 3 Reception 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

[edit]History For six years, Google's Chief Executive Eric Schmidt was against the idea of building an independent web browser. He stated that "At the time, Google was a small company," and he didn't want to go through "bruising browser wars". However, after co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page hired several Firefox developers and built a demonstration of Chrome, Mr. Schmidt admitted that "It was so good that it essentially forced me to change my mind."[9] [edit]Announcement The release announcement was originally scheduled for 3 September 2008, and a comic by Scott McCloud was to be sent to journalists and bloggers explaining the features of and motivations for the new

browser.[10] Copies intended for Europe were shipped early and German blogger Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped[11] made a scanned copy of the 38-page comic available on his website after receiving it on 1 September 2008.[12] Google subsequently made the comic available on Google Books[13] and mentioned it on their official blog along with an explanation for the early release.[14] [edit]Public


An early version of Chromium for Linux, explaining the difference between Chrome and Chromium

The browser was first publicly released for Microsoft Windows (XP and later versions only) on 2 September 2008 in 43 languages, officially a beta version.[15] Chrome quickly gained about 1% market share despite being only available for Microsoft Windows.[14][16][17][18] After the initial surge, usage share dropped until it hit a low of 0.69% in October 2008. It then started rising again and by December 2008, Chrome again passed the 1% threshold.[19] In early January 2009, CNET reported that Google planned to release versions of Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux in the first half of the year.[20]The first official Chrome Mac OS X and Linux developer previews[21] were announced on 4 June 2009 with a blog post[22] saying they were missing many features and were intended for early feedback rather than general use. In December 2009, Google released beta versions of Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux.[23][24] Google Chrome 5.0, announced on 25 May 2010, was the first stable release to support all three platforms.[25] Chrome was one of the twelve browsers offered to European Economic Area users of Microsoft Windows in 2010.[26] [edit]Development

Usage share of alternative web browsers (non-IE) according to Stat Counter.

Chrome was assembled from 25 different code libraries from Google and third parties such as Mozilla's Netscape Portable Runtime, Network Security Services, NPAPI, as well as SQLite and a number of other open-source projects.[27] TheJavaScript virtual machine was considered a sufficiently important project to be split off (as was Adobe/Mozilla's Tamarin) and handled by a separate team in Denmark coordinated by Lars Bak at Aarhus. According to Google, existing implementations were designed "for small programs, where the performance and interactivity of the system weren't that important," but web applications such as Gmail "are using the web browser to the fullest when it comes to DOM manipulations and JavaScript", and therefore would significantly benefit from a JavaScript engine that could work faster. Chrome uses the WebKit rendering engine to display web pages, on advice from the Android team.

Like most browsers, Chrome was extensively tested internally before release with unit testing,

"automated user interface testing of scripted user actions" and fuzz testing, as well as WebKit's layout tests (99% of which Chrome is claimed to have passed). New browser builds are automatically tested against tens of thousands of commonly accessed websites inside the Google index within 20–30 minutes.

Chrome includes Gears, which adds features for web developers typically relating to the building of web applications (including offline support).[13] However, Google is phasing out Gears in favor of HTML5.[28] In December 2010 Google announced that to make deploying Chrome easier in a business environment they would provide an official Chrome MSI package. The normal downloaded Chrome installer puts the

browser in the user's home directory and provides invisible background updates, but the MSI package will allow installation at the system level, providing system administrators control over the update process.[29] On 11 January 2011 the Chrome Product manager, Mike Jazayeri, announced that Chrome will no longer support H.264 video codec for its HTML 5 player, citing the desire to bring Google Chrome more inline with the currently available open codecs available in the Chromium project, which Chrome is based on.[30] [edit]Release Color




Old release

Green Current stable release


Current beta release

Purple Current dev release

Major version

Release date


V8 engine version[32]

Operating system support

Significant changes

0.2.149 2008-09-08


Windows First release.

522 0.3.154 2008-10-29

Improved plugin performance and reliability. Spell checking for input fields. Improved web proxy performance and reliability. Tab and window management updates.

0.4.154 2008-11-24 525

Bookmark manager with import and export support. Privacy section added to the application options. New blocked popup notification. Security fixes.

1.0.154 2008-12-11 528

First stable release.

2.0.172 2009-05-24 530


35% faster JavaScript on the SunSpider benchmark. Mouse wheel support. Full-screen mode. Full-page zoom. Form autofill. Sort bookmarks by title. Tab docking to browser and desktop edges. Basic Greasemonkey support.[33]

3.0.195 2009-10-12 532


New "new tab" page for improved customization. 25% faster JavaScript. HTML5 video and audio tag support. Lightweight theming.

4.0.249 2010-01-25 532.5 1.3

Extensions, bookmark synchronization, enhanced developer tools, improved HTML5 support, performance improvements, full ACID3 pass, HTTP byte range support, increased security, and experimental new antireflected-XSS feature called "XSS Auditor".[34]

4.1.249 2010-03-17

Translate infobar, new privacy features, disabled XSS Auditor.[35]

5.0.375 2010-05-25 533


Windows Improved JavaScript performance, browser Mac preference synchronizing, increased HTML5 Linux support (Geolocation APIs, App Cache, web sockets, and file drag-and-drop), revamped bookmark manager, Adobe Flash Player integrated.[36][37]

6.0.472 2010-09-02 534.3


Updated and more streamlined UI, with simplified Omnibox, new tab page and merged menu buttons. Form Autofill. Expanded synchronization support to include extensions and Autofill data. Support for WebM videos. Improvements for performance and stability. [38] Built-in PDF support (disabled by default).

7.0.517 2010-10-21 534.7

Primarily a stabilizing release with hundreds of bug fixes. Implemented HTML5 parsing algorithm, File API, directory upload via input tag. Mac OS X version gained AppleScript support for UI automation. [40] Late binding enabled for SSL sockets: High priority SSL requests are now always sent to the server first. New options for managing

cookies. Updated New Tab Page to enable featuring of web applications.

8.0.552 2010-12-02 534.10

Chrome Web Store, built-in PDF viewer that works inside Chrome's sandbox for increased security, expanded synchronization support to include web applications, and improved plug-in handling.[41] This release added "about:flags" to showcase experimental features such as Chrome Instant, side tabs on Windows, Tabbed Settings, Click to Play, background web applications, Remoting, Disable outdated plugins, XSS Auditor, Cloud Print Proxy, GPU Accelerated Compositing, WebGL support for the Canvas element, and a "Tab Overview" mode (like exposé) for Mac.

9.0.597 2011-01-04 534.13

WebGL enabled by default, Adobe Flash sandboxing on Windows and Chrome Instant (à la Google Instant) option.[42] New flags: Print Preview, GPU Accelerated Compositing, GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D, Google Native Client, CRX-less Web Apps, Web Page Prerendering, Experimental Extension APIs, Disable hyperlink auditing.

10.0.648 2011-01-26 534.16


Google Cloud Print sign-in interface enabled by default. Sandbox the GPU process (currently Mac only, all platforms planned for v10 final). [43] Faster JavaScript performance due to incorporation of Crankshaft, an improved compiler for V8.[44]Options window changed to a tab.

[edit]Features Google Chrome aims to be secure, fast, simple[45] and stable. There are extensive differences from its peers in Chrome's minimalistic user interface,[13] which is atypical of modern web browsers.[46] For example, Chrome does not render RSS feeds.[47] Chrome's strength is its application performance and JavaScript processing speed, both of which were independently verified by multiple websites to be the swiftest among the major browsers of its time.[48][49] Many of Chrome's unique features had been previously announced by other browser developers, but Google was the first to implement and publicly release them.[50] For example, its most prominent graphical user interface (GUI) innovation, the merging of

the address barand search bar (the Omnibox), was first announced by Mozilla in May 2008 as a planned feature for Firefox.[51] [edit]Acid


The results of the Acid3 test on Google Chrome 4.0

The first release of Google Chrome passed both the Acid1 and Acid2 tests. Beginning with version 4.0, Chrome passed all aspects of theAcid3 test.[52] With any browser codebase, Acid3 compliance can change over time. [edit]Security Chrome periodically retrieves updates of two blacklists (one for phishing and one for malware), and warns users when they attempt to visit a harmful site. This service is also made available for use by others via a free public API called "Google Safe Browsing API". Google notifies the owners of listed sites who may not be aware of the presence of the harmful software.[13] Chrome will typically allocate each tab to fit into its own process to "prevent malware from installing itself" and prevent what happens in one tab from affecting what happens in another; however, the actual process-allocation model is more complex.[53] Following the principle of least privilege, each process is stripped of its rights and can compute, but cannot write files or read from sensitive areas (e.g. documents, desktop)—this is similar to the "Protected Mode" used by Internet Explorer on Windows Vista and Windows 7. The Sandbox Team is said to have "taken this existing process boundary and made it into a jail";[54] for example, malicious software running in one tab is supposed to be unable to sniff credit card numbers entered in another tab, interact with mouse inputs, or tell Windows to "run an executable on start-up" and it will be terminated when the tab is closed.[13] This enforces a simple computer security model whereby there are two levels of multilevel security (user and sandbox) and the sandbox can only respond to communication requests initiated by the user.[55] Typically, plugins such as Adobe Flash Player are not standardized and as such, cannot be sandboxed as tabs can be. These often need to run at, or above, the security level of the browser itself. To reduce exposure to attack, plugins are run in separate processes that communicate with the renderer, itself

operating at "very low privileges" in dedicated per-tab processes. Plugins will need to be modified to operate within this software architecture while following the principle of least privilege.[13] Chrome supports the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI),[56] but does not support the embedding of ActiveX controls.[56] On 30 March 2010 Google announced that the latest development version of Chrome would include Adobe Flash as an integral part of the browser, eliminating the need to download and install it separately. Flash would be kept up to date as part of Chrome's own updates.[57] Java applet support is available in Chrome with Java 6 update 12 and above.[58] Support for Java under Mac OS X was provided by a Java Update released on May 18, 2010.[59] A private browsing feature called Incognito mode is provided that prevents the browser from storing any history information or cookies from the websites visited.[60] Chrome warns on the new tab page that "this feature does not make your actions on the internet invisible", however, and the browser advises the user to be wary of:     
Websites that collect or share information about you Internet service providers or employers that track the pages you visit Malicious software that tracks your keystrokes in exchange for free smileys Surveillance by secret agents People standing behind you

Incognito mode is similar to the private browsing feature introduced with Apple's Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.5, Opera 10.5, and Internet Explorer 8. On 12 January 2011 versions of Chrome prior to version 8.0.552.237 were identified by US-CERT as "contain[ing] multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include a stack corruption vulnerability in the PDF renderer component, two memory corruption vulnerabilities in the Vorbis decoder, and a video frame size error resulting in a bad memory access...By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document, PDF file, or video file, an attacker can cause the application to crash or possibly execute arbitrary code." This vulnerability was publicized after Chrome version 8.0.552.237 was released fixing these problems to alert users to upgrade versions as soon as possible.[61] [edit]Speed The JavaScript virtual machine used by Chrome, the V8 JavaScript engine, has features such as dynamic code generation, hidden class transitions, and precise garbage collection.[13]Tests by Google in September 2008 showed that V8 was about twice as fast as Firefox 3.0 and the WebKit nightlies.[citation

Several websites performed benchmark tests using the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark tool as well as Google's own set of computationally intense benchmarks, which include ray tracing and constraint solving.[62] They unanimously reported that Chrome performed much faster than all competitors against which it had been tested, including Safari (for Windows),Firefox 3.0, Internet Explorer 7, Opera, and Internet Explorer 8.[63][64][65][66][67][68] However in more recent independent tests of JavaScript performance, Chrome has been scoring just behind Opera's Presto engine since it was updated in version 10.5.[69] On September 3, 2008, Mozilla responded by stating that their own TraceMonkey JavaScript engine (then in beta), was faster than Chrome's V8 engine in some tests.[70][71][72] John Resig, Mozilla's JavaScript evangelist, further commented on the performance of different browsers on Google's own suite, commenting on Chrome's "decimating" [sic] of the other browsers, but he questioned whether Google's suite was representative of real programs. He stated that Firefox 3.0 performed poorly on recursion intensive benchmarks, such as those of Google, because the Mozilla team had not implemented recursion-tracing yet.[73] Two weeks after Chrome's launch, the WebKit team announced a new JavaScript engine, SquirrelFish Extreme,[74] citing a 36% speed improvement over Chrome's V8 engine.[75][76][77] Chrome uses DNS prefetching to speed up website lookups, as do Firefox[78] and Safari.[79] This feature is available in Internet Explorer as an extension, and in Opera as a UserScript. Chrome utilizes the faster SPDY protocol designed to replace HTTP[80][81] when communicating with Google services, such as Google Search, Gmail, Chrome sync and when serving Google's ads. Google acknowledges that the use of SPDY is enabled in the communication between Chrome and Google's SSL-enabled servers.[82] SPDY sessions can be inspected in Chrome at the special URL chrome://net-internals/#events&q=type:SPDY_SESSION%20is:active. [edit]Stability The Gears team implemented a multi-process architecture in Chrome,[83] similar to Loosely Coupled Internet Explorer (LCIE) implemented by Internet Explorer 8.[84] By default, a separate process is allocated to each site instance and plugin, a procedure referred to as process isolation.[85] This prevents tasks from interfering with each other, increasing security and stability. An attacker successfully gaining access to one application cannot gain access to others,[86] and failure in one instance results in a Sad Tab screen of death, similar to the well-known Sad Mac, but only a single tab crashes instead of the whole application. This strategy exacts a fixed per-process cost up front, but results in less memory bloat overall as fragmentation is confined to each instance and no longer requires further memory allocations.

Safari[88] and Firefox[89] are also adopting this architecture in upcoming versions, meaning that most

common browsers will use a multi-process architecture in the near future.

Chrome includes a process management utility called Task Manager which allows the user to see what sites and plugins are using the most memory, downloading the most bytes and over-utilizing the CPU" and provides the ability to terminate them.[13] [edit]User


Google Chrome's user interface on Mac OS X

By default, the main user interface includes back, forward, refresh/cancel and menu buttons. A home button is not shown by default, but can be added through the preferences menu to take the user to the new tab page or a custom home page. Tabs are the primary component of Chrome's user interface and as such, have been moved to the top of the window rather than below the controls. This subtle change contrasts with many existing tabbed browsers which are based on windows and contain tabs. Tabs (including their state) can be transferred seamlessly between window containers by dragging. Each tab has its own set of controls, including theOmnibox.[13] The Omnibox is the URL box at the top of each tab, which combines the functionality of both the Address bar and search box. If a user enters the URL of a site previously searched from, Chrome allows pressing Tab to search the site again directly from the Omnibox. When a user starts typing in the Omnibox, Chrome provides suggestions for previously visited sites (based on the URL or in-page text), popular websites (not necessarily visited before – powered by Google Suggest), and popular searches. Although Google Suggest can be turned off, suggestions based on previously visited sites cannot be turned off. Chrome will also autocomplete the URLs of sites visited often.[13] If a user types several keywords into the Omnibox and press enter, Chrome will conduct the search using the default search engine. When Google Chrome is not maximized, the tab bar appears directly under the title bar. When maximized, the tabs become flush with the top of the titlebar. Like other browsers, it has a full-screen mode that hides the operating system's interface as well as the browser chrome.

One of Chrome's differentiating features is the New Tab Page, which can replace the browser home page and is displayed when a new tab is created. Originally, this showed thumbnails of the nine most visited web sites, along with frequent searches, recent bookmarks, and recently closed tabs; similar to Internet Explorer and Firefox with Google Toolbar 6, or Opera'sSpeed Dial.[13] In Google Chrome 2.0, the New Tab Page was updated to allow users to hide thumbnails they didn't want to appear.[90] Starting in version 3.0, the New Tab Page was revamped to display thumbnails of the eight most visited web sites. The thumbnails could be rearranged, pinned, and removed. Alternatively, a list of text links could be displayed instead of thumbnails. It also features a "Recently closed" bar that shows recently closed tabs and a "tips" section that displays hints and tricks for using the browser.[91] Chrome includes a bookmark manager that can be opened from a menu. Adding the commandline option: --bookmark-menu adds a bookmarks button to the right of the Omnibox that can be used in place of the bookmarks bar.[92] However, this functionality is currently unavailable on the Linux and Mac platforms.[93] Popup windows are associated with the tab they came from and will not appear outside the tab unless the user explicitly drags them out.[13] Google Chrome's preferences window has three tabs: Basic, Personal Stuff, and Under the Hood. The Basic tab includes options for the home page, search engine, and default browser. The Personal Stuff tab lets users configure synchronization, saved passwords, form autofill, browsing data, and themes. The Under the Hood tab allows changing network, privacy, download, and security settings. Chrome does not have a status bar, but displays loading activity and hover-over information via a status bubble that pops up at the bottom left of the relevant page, excluding hovering over links in image maps. For web developers, Chrome features an element inspector similar to the one in Firebug.[78] As part of Google's April Fools' Day jokes, a special build of Chrome was released on 1 April 2009 with the additional feature of being able to render pages in anaglyph 3D.[94] [edit]Desktop

shortcuts and apps

Chrome allows users to make local desktop shortcuts that open web applications in the browser. The browser, when opened in this way, contains none of the regular interface except for the title bar, so as not to "interrupt anything the user is trying to do." This allows web applications to run alongside local software (similar to Mozilla Prism and Fluid).[13] This feature, according to Google, will be enhanced with the Chrome Web Store, a one-stop web-based web applications directory which opened in December 2010.[95][96] [edit]Chrome Web Store

Announced on December 7, 2010, the Chrome Web Store allows users to install applications (which are essentially shortcuts) to popular and highly used web pages and/or games. The themes and extensions have also been tightly integrated into the new store, allowing users to searched the entire catalog of Chrome extras.[97] Criticism of the idea came quickly. Ryan Paul of Ars Technica said on 9 December 2010: "The way that users consume applications in the desktop and mobile world is fundamentally different than they way that they do it on the Web—where paywalls are often reviled and there is little distinction between content and software. In such an environment, does the application store model make any sense? We are not convinced...Aside from gaming, the idea of an application store in a Web browser—where installation is little more than bookmarking—seems counterintuitive and leaves us with the impression that the entire exercise is a solution in search of a problem."[97] [edit]Aero

peek capability

Google has included aero peek capability for each tab on Windows 7. This has not been added by default but can be user enabled,[98] resulting in a displayed thumbnail image of the tab. This will create similar functioning to that which is already included in IE8, Firefox and other browsers. Negative responses from beta users on the inefficiency of aero peek tabs has prevented Google from including this as a default function.[99] [edit]Extensions On 9 September 2009, Google enabled extensions by default on Chrome's Dev channel, and provided several sample extensions for testing.[100] In December, the Google Chrome extension gallery beta began with over 300 extensions.[24][101] Along with Google Chrome 4.0, the extension gallery was officially launched on 25 January 2010, containing over 1500 extensions.[102] As of 19 August 2010, the extension gallery featured over 6000 extensions,[103] including official extensions from The Independent,[104] CEOP,[105] Transport for London,[106] Cricinfo,[107]Web of Trust[108] and FIFA.[109] [edit]Themes Starting with Google Chrome 3.0, users can install themes to alter the appearance of the browser.

Many free third-party themes are provided in an online gallery,[111] accessible through a "Get themes"

button in Chrome's options.[112] Even more themes are available in Chrome extension gallery. [edit]Automatic

web page translation

Starting with Google Chrome 4.1 the application added a built-in translation bar using Google Translate. Translation is currently available for 52 languages.[113] [edit]Release

channels and updates

On 8 January 2009 Google introduced a new release system with three distinct channels: Stable, Beta, and Developer preview (called the "Dev" channel). Before this change there were only two channels: Beta and Developer preview. All previous Developer channel users were moved to the Beta channel. The reason given by Google is that the Developer channel builds are less stable and polished than those that Developer channel users were getting during Google Chrome's Beta period. The stable channel will be updated with features and fixes once they have been thoroughly tested in the Beta channel, and the Beta channel will be updated roughly monthly with stable and complete features from the Developer channel. The Developer channel is where ideas get tested (and sometimes fail) and can be very unstable at times.

On 22 July 2010 Google announced it will ramp up the speed it will release new stable versions;

they will shorten the release cycles from quarterly to 6 weeks.[116] The faster release cycle brought a fourth channel: the "Canary" release; the name refers to using canaries in coal mines, so if a change "kills" Chrome Canary, they'll block it from the developer build. Canary will be "the most bleeding-edge official version of Chrome and somewhat of a mix between Chrome dev and the Chromium snapshot builds". Canary releases run side-by-side with any other channel; it is not linked to the other Google Chrome installation and can therefore run different synchronization profiles, themes, and browser preferences.

It cannot be set as the default browser.

Chrome automatically keeps itself up to date. The details differ by platform. On Windows, it uses Google Updater, and autoupdate can be controlled via Group Policy,[118] or users can download a standalone version that does not autoupdate.[119][120] On Mac, it uses Google Update Service, and autoupdate can be controlled via the Mac OS X "defaults" system.[121] On Linux, it lets the system's normal package management system supply the updates. Google uses its Courgette algorithm to provide the binary difference of the user's current version in relation to the new version that's about to be automatically updated to. These tiny updates are well suited to minor security fixes and allow Google to push new versions of Chrome to users quickly, thereby reducing the window of vulnerability of newly discovered security flaws.[122] [edit]Usage


Chrome sends details about its usage to Google through both optional and non-optional user tracking mechanisms.[123] Tracking methods


Information sent



Installation Randomly generated token included in installer. Used to measure success rate of Google Chrome.[125] RLZ identifier[126]

On installation



Google search Encoded string, according to Google, contains non-identifying information how Chrome was downloaded and its install week, and is used to measure promotional campaigns. [125] Google provides the source code to decode this string.[127] query  first launch and first use of address bar[125] clientID[128] Suggest[128] Page not found Text typed into the address bar Unique identifier along with logs of usage metrics and crashes. Text typed into the address bar Unknown While typing Upon receiving "Server not found" response Unknown Yes[129] Yes On Partial[note 2]


Bug tracker Details about crashes and failures


Some of the tracking mechanisms can be optionally enabled and disabled through the installation interface[citation needed] and through the browser's options dialog.[128] Unofficial builds, such as SRWare Iron and ChromePlus, seek to remove these features from the browser altogether.[124] The RLZ feature is not included in the Chromium browser either.[130] In March 2010, Google devised a new method to collect installation statistics: the unique ID token included with Chrome is now only used for the first connection that Google Update makes to its server. This sole remaining non-optional user tracking mechanism is removed following the server ping.[131] [edit]About

and Chrome URLs

Chrome has special URLs that load application-specific pages, instead of websites or files on disk.[132]

    

about:about – List of about pages. about:appcache-internals – HTML 5 Application Cache diagnostics. about:blank – Shows a blank HTML document. about:cache – A list of all the web pages cached by Google Chrome. about:conflicts – Modules loaded into the main process and modules registered to load at a later

point.                about:crash – Crash the active tab. about:credits – Credits, licenses, and links for all software used to make Chrome. about:dns – DNS prefetching engine diagnostics. about:gpu – Graphics card information, used to assist in GPU acceleration debugging. about:histograms – Detailed technical metrics. about:inducebrowsercrashforrealz – Crashes the Google Chrome browser. about:memory – Memory used. about:net-internals – Network diagnostics. about:flags – Experimental browser features.[133] about:plugins – List of installed plugins (not extensions), with disable support for diagnostics. about:shorthang – Hangs the tab's process, making it become unresponsive. about:sync – Synchronization engine diagnostics. about:tcmalloc – Stats as of last page load. about:terms – Terms of service. about:version, about: – Version of Chrome, WebKit, V8, and the command line options used to

launch.           chrome://bookmarks – Bookmark manager. chrome://downloads – Download manager. chrome://extensions – Extensions manager. chrome://history – Page history. chrome://newtab – New Tab page. chrome://print – Print Preview. chrome://settings – Settings manager. chrome://view-http-cache – Cached HTTP objects. view-cache:url – Shows you some under-the-hood cache details. view-source:url – Displays the source code of the URL specified.


Originally called about:labs, "about:flags" is a place in Google Chrome developer and beta builds that contains experimental features. Features available in the developer builds include:  Side Tabs: Adds a "Use Side Tabs" entry to the tabstrip's context menu. Use this to toggle

between tabs on top (default) and tabs on the side. Useful on widescreen monitors.   Remoting: Enable Remoting Host support. (Currently non-functional) Disable outdated plug-ins: Automatically disables plug-ins with known security vulnerabilities and

offers update links for them.  XSS Auditor: Enables WebKit's XSS Auditor (cross-site scripting protection). This feature aims to

protect you from certain attacks of malicious web sites. It improves your security, but it might not be compatible with all web sites.  Check for known conflicts with 3rd party modules: Enables a background check that warns you

when a software incompatibility is detected (ie. 3rd party modules that crash the browser).  CRX-less Web Apps: Enables support for installing Chrome apps that are deployed using a

manifest file on a web page, rather than by packaging the manifest and icons into a crx file.  GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D: Enables higher performance of canvas tags with a 2D context by

rendering using Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) hardware.    Print Preview: Enables an in-tab preview of a print operation. (Currently non-functional) Native Client: Enable support for Native Client. Web Page Prerendering: Speculatively prerenders complete webpages in the background for a

faster browsing experience.  Experimental Extension APIs: Enables experimental extension APIs. Note that the extension

gallery doesn't allow you to upload extensions that use experimental APIs.    Click-to-Play: Click on a blocked plug-in to run it. Disable hyperlink auditing: Disable sending hyperlink auditing pings. Experimental location features: Enables experimental extensions to the geolocation feature.

Includes using operating system location APIs (where available), and sending additional local network configuration data to the Google location service to provide higher accuracy positioning.  Instant Type: Configures the behavior of instant.

[edit]Reception Further information: Usage share of web browsers and Browser wars

Usage share of web browsers according to Stat Counter, Chrome is 11.92% in October 2010.

In 2008, The Daily Telegraph's Matthew Moore summarizes the verdict of early reviewers: "Google Chrome is attractive, fast and has some impressive new features, but may not—yet—be a threat to its Microsoft rival."[134] Initially, Microsoft reportedly "played down the threat from Chrome" and "predicted that most people will embrace Internet Explorer 8." Opera Software said that "Chrome will strengthen the Web as the biggest application platform in the world."[135] But by February 25, 2010, BusinessWeek had reported that "For the first time in years, energy and resources are being poured into browsers, the ubiquitous programs for accessing content on the Web. Credit for this trend—a boon to consumers—goes to two parties. The first is Google, whose big plans for the Chrome browser have shaken Microsoft out of its competitive torpor and forced the software giant to pay fresh attention to its own browser, Internet Explorer. Microsoft all but

ceased efforts to enhance IE after it triumphed in the last browser war, sending Netscape to its doom. Now it's back in gear."[136] Mozilla said that Chrome's introduction into the web browser market comes as "no real surprise", that "Chrome is not aimed at competing with Firefox", and furthermore that it should not affectGoogle's revenue relationship with Mozilla.[137][138] Chrome's design bridges the gap between desktop and so-called "cloud computing." At the touch of a button, Chrome lets you make a desktop, Start menu, or Quick Launch shortcut to any Web page or Web application, blurring the line between what's online and what's inside your PC. For example, I created a desktop shortcut for Google Maps. When you create a shortcut for a Web application, Chrome strips away all of the toolbars and tabs from the window, leaving you with something that feels much more like a desktop application than like a Web application or page. —PC World[139] On 9 September 2008, when Chrome was still in beta, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) issued a statement about their first examination of Chrome, expressing a concern over the prominent download links on Google's German web page, because "beta versions should not be employed for general use applications" and browser manufacturers should provide appropriate instructions regarding the use of pre-released software. They did, however, praise the browser's technical contribution to improving security on the web.[140] Concern about Chrome's optional usage collection and tracking have been noted in several publications.

On 2 September 2008, a CNET news item[143] drew attention to a passage in the Terms of Service

statement for the initial beta release, which seemed to grant to Google a license to all content transferred via the Chrome browser. The passage in question was inherited from the general Google terms of service.[144] On the same day, Google responded to this criticism by stating that the language used was borrowed from other products, and removed the passage in question from the Terms of Service.

Google noted that this change would "apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google

Chrome."[146] There was subsequent concern and confusion about whether and what information the program communicates back to Google. The company stated that usage metrics are only sent when users opt in by checking the option "help make Google Chrome better by automatically sending usage statistics and crash reports to Google" when the browser is installed.[147] The optional suggestion service included in Google Chrome has been criticized because it provides the information typed into the Omnibox to Google before the user even hits return. This allows Google to provide URL suggestions, but also provides Google with web usage information tied to an IP address. The feature can be selected off in the preferences-under the hood-privacy box.[148]

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